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I'll have to toss in with the Woolly Bugger crowd. I carry black in size 2 to 12 for everything from bass to brookies. Light colors fished as a streamer or dark bounced on the bottom.


When all else fails, tie on a Bugger.


Happily we don't have to choose. I have tended to minimize what I carry I have it down to 9 pattens for bass/panfish and 20 (dry/wet/terrestrial) for trout. I find size more important than pattern with trout dry flies. The Woolly Bugger and the Thunder Thighs Hopper are the only ones common to both. And the Bugger is definitely the most productive.

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Sure. This is what I pared my tying down to so I wouldn't go broke chasing necks.


For bass:

1 Murray's Hellgrammite

2 Murray's Strymph (black, cream, olive)

3 Shenk's Minnow (wtd w/barbell eyes and unweighted). Size 4 with Estaz chenille in chartreuse & ostrich tail with a few strands of Krystal Flash with red lead eyes is a favorite.

4 Morrish Hopper

5 Thunder Thighs Hopper

6 Clouser Minnow

7 Woolly Bugger (bead & cone) (black, cream/white, olive and chartreuse . . . and others)

8 Craven Haymaker

9 Casual Dress Nymph


I range from size 2 to 12 - though the Closer I go as far as 3/0 on Mustad 34007. Some tied full and short are my crayfish mimics.


For trout:

1 Blue Wing Olive (dry

2 Dark Hendrickson (dry)

3 Light Hendrickson dry)

4 Quill Gordon (dry)

5 Elk Hair Caddis (dry)

6 Henryville Special (dry)

7 Pale Evening Dun (dry)

8 March Brown (dry)

9 Red Quill (dry)

10 Small Morrish Hopper (dry)

11 Black Ant (dry)

12 BH Prince

13 BH Pheasant Tail

14 Gold Ribbed Hair's Ear (BH & plain)

15 Zack's Blood Geyser

16 BH Copper John

17 BH Brassie

18 Muddler Minnow

19 Woolly Bugger

20 San Juan Worm (beaded & plain)


Most in 14 to 16. BWO dry down to 20, and the March Brown up to 8. The nymph mostly 12 to 16, but I do a BH Copper John down to 20 with just a pair of hackle fibers instead of biots for the tail.


Some years back I came across a calendar of hatches for the mayflies in this county and I based the dries on specific hatches to cover most of what I need. You'll notice I don't use a spinner. I never really had much success with them. At need I can just clip a regular dry sparse and use floating.


I also keep a few small poppers, muskrat nymphs and San Juan worms for sunfish in my SUV. There are times and places I really enjoy pestering sunnies. Always obliging.

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Around here for trout, either a Prince or Tellico nymph tied in 3x long #14 with a tungsten bead head. If I had to choose one dry fly to fish all year, it would be either a #14 Yellow Palmer or Parachute Adams.

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